Jun 21, 2024  
2018-2019 Florida Tech Catalog 
2018-2019 Florida Tech Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.

Major Code: 9131 Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom Age Restriction: No
Admission Status: Graduate Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
Admission Materials: GRE, 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives

The doctor of philosophy degree is offered for students who wish to carry out advanced research in any of the five optional areas of specialization listed under the master of science program. Other research areas may or may not correlate well with current faculty interests and laboratory facilities. In such cases, the mechanical engineering department head should be consulted to determine the feasibility of pursuing advanced research topics that are outside of the five optional areas listed.

Admission Requirements

A candidate for the doctoral program will normally have completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field and have adequate preparation in areas of science and mathematics fundamental to his or her field of study. In addition, a student enrolled in the master’s program may apply to work directly toward the doctoral degree after completing at least 18 credit hours of graduate coursework at Florida Tech with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.

Doctoral applicants should have superior academic records, provide letters of recommendation and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview  section.

Degree Requirements

The degree of doctor of philosophy is conferred primarily in recognition of creative accomplishment and ability to investigate scientific or engineering problems independently, rather than for completion of a definite course of study. The work should consist of advanced studies and research leading to a significant contribution to the knowledge of a particular problem. A student’s research may have analytical, computational or experimental components, or some combination. Each student is expected to complete an approved program of study beyond that required for a master’s degree, pass the comprehensive written/oral examination, complete a program of significant original research, and prepare and defend a dissertation concerning the research.

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to cover the student’s major field of study and related fields important to the major field. The examination is given when, in the judgment of the student’s advisory committee, the student has had sufficient preparation in his/her field of study by completing significant coursework in at least two areas of specialization and by initiating doctoral research. The examination is normally taken before the end of the student’s fourth academic semester, as counted from admission into the doctoral program. The written portion of the examination consists of individual examinations given by each member of the advisory committee. These written examinations are intended to cover each of the student’s areas of specialization. The written portion of the comprehensive examination is followed by an oral component administered by the student’s advisory committee. The oral examination provides the advisory committee an opportunity to complete the examinations in each of the student’s specialty areas. Subsequent to completion of both written and oral components of the examination, a dissertation proposal must be submitted to the student’s advisory committee for evaluation. Upon determining that the proposed research is of doctoral quality and that completion is feasible, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.


The student’s master’s and doctoral coursework combined should include a minimum of 24 credit hours in mechanical engineering and nine credit hours in mathematics. The doctoral program of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and the department head. The distribution of these courses should include courses in each of the four areas of specialization, and as a minimum should have the credit distribution given below:

  • Major Area of Specialization (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 18
  • Related Areas of Specialization (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 9
  • Mathematics (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 9

Coursework and Dissertation Summary

  • Doctoral coursework beyond master’s degree (minimum) Credit Hours: 18
  • ​Doctoral research and dissertation (minimum) Credit Hours: 24

Total Minimum Beyond The Master’s Degree Credit Hours: 42